Trading continues well for Barratt Developments with ‘ongoing strong demand’
Housebuilder Barratt Developments said demand for new homes remained “strong” as sales rose 4.3 per cent since July.
Issuing a trading update yesterday, the company said the demand was driven by a shortage of homes, good mortgage availability and supportive government policy in the shape of the Help to Buy scheme.
However the firm added that it was wary of the political uncertainty that could potentially be triggered once Britain formally begins the process of leaving the European Union.
Chief executive David Thomas said: “This has been another good trading period for the Group. Consumer demand is strong supported by good mortgage availability.
“We are mindful of the potential for economic uncertainty created by the outcome of the EU Referendum. However, market fundamentals are robust, and we remain a housebuilder of choice.
“Barratt’s commitment to quality design, build and excellence in market-leading customer service has supported our strong sales performance. Our focus remains on maintaining good operational and financial performance, and delivering attractive shareholder returns.”
The housebuilder has launched 69 new developments since July, compared to 51 in the same period last year. The company now has 385 sites, slightly up on last year’s 380.
Barratt said the average rate of reservations per week was in line with last year, at 265.
Meanwhile, Barratt Scotland revealed today that it has completed 1,500 new home sales in Scotland using the Scottish Government’s Help to Buy scheme.
Launched in 2013, the scheme offers a helping hand by enabling qualifying home buyers to make their move to a new-build home with just a five per cent deposit, supported by an interest free equity loan of up to 15 per cent.
As a result of its success, Barratt Homes has experienced a surge in first-time buyers and those seeking to upsize whilst capitalising on the lower interest rates on offer.
However, those yet to benefit are being urged to act fast, with 2016/17 funding closing to new applications on 31st December 2016 for move-ins by 31st March. After this date, house price thresholds are set to fall from £230,000 to £200,000.
Douglas McLeod, regional director for Barratt Scotland said: “As the first house builder in Scotland to complete a Help to Buy transaction following the launch of the original Help to Buy scheme in 2013, Barratt Homes has warmly embraced the scheme as a great way of providing affordable mortgages for people who might not have been able to purchase a home otherwise. However, with the thresholds changing next year, we’d advise anyone who’s contemplating buying a new home through Help to Buy to contact us now.
“Our excellent team of independent financial advisors are experienced at guiding homebuyers through the process and talking through the many purchasing options which are available, from Help to Buy and Deposit Boost through to Movemaker and Part Exchange.”
New homes, eligible for Help to Buy funding, are still available at seventeen Barratt developments across Scotland.